Obituaries 24-11-2012

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 21st November, 2012 4:30pm

Obituaries 24-11-2012

Paddy Meegan displays his GAA memorabilia and medal collection when he launched his book, 'From the Life Around Me'.

Paddy Meegan, Drumconrath

Mr Paddy Meegan, Howthstown, Drumconrath, who died last week, was a member of Meath's All-Ireland winning football teams from the Royal County's first glory era in Croke Park in 1949 and '54.

His passing marks the end of Syddan GFC's link with the county's first All-Ireland winning team of 1949, when there were five representatives on the panel. Mr Meegan celebrated his 90th birthday in August, when the local club paid a birthday tribute to him, but had been in ailing health in recent times. A farmer at Howthstown, he was also a well known writer of verse and prose, and four years ago published a collection of his work, entitled 'From the Life Around Me'. He died at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, on Wednesday morning last.

Paddy Meegan was a legend of Syddan and Meath during those halcyon days of the forties and fifties when his club and county were kingpins in winning the game's major honours.

He first started kicking football when at Newtown NS and his talents were nurtured when a pupil at St Finian's College, Mullingar where he won both  Leinster Colleges and Interprovincial Colleges medals. After coming through the minor and junior ranks Paddy made his Meath senior debut in the spring of 1942.

He won the first of four Railway Cup medals with Leinster in 1945 and shares the distinction with Micheál O'Brien of being the only two Meath men to have won four interprovincial medals.

When the Royals were crowned NFL champions in 1946 following a final win over Wexford, it heralded the start of an unprecedented era of success that lasted until 1954 with a second All-Ireland success, over the mighty men of Kerry.

Paddy Meegan appeared in Croke Park on All Ireland final day on four different occasions in a six year period. The groundbreaking All-Ireland win of 1949 will never be forgotten as the Royals shocked a three-in-a-row chasing Cavan outfit, 1-10 to 1-6, before a record final attendance of 79,460. Meath led 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time but the determined Breffni men showed that they weren't going to relinquish their crown without a fight.

Then one of the smallest men on the pitch, Paddy Meegan, made a darting 30-yard solo run down the right wing before shooting for a goal. Cavan keeper Seamus Morris blocked the shot, the ball broke out to Paddy's near neighbour, Meath full forward Billy Halpenny who finished to the net.

There was further success for Meegan in 1949 as Syddan won the first of their four SFC titles. Mayo proved too strong for Meath in the 1951 All-Ireland decider but there was consolation as he captained Meath to a famous NFL success in New York, having beaten Mayo in the 'home' final. Syddan won back-to-back senior titles in 1951 and 1952 but on the national scene, Cavan came back to thwart Meath hopes of the title in '52, following a replay.

The year of 1954 was an unforgettable one for Paddy Meegan, as he got married to Olive, and a few short weeks later lined out at top of the right and contributed four points in the 1-13 to 1-7 All-Ireland final win over the Kingdom, who were hot favourites going into that game.

In the preceding years he had captained Leinster to Railway Cup success and also represented Ireland against the Combined Universities. One of his sweetest ever victories came in the twilight of his career in 1956 as he scored 1-3 in Syddan's 3-4 to 2-6 senior final win over Skryne as the Keegan Cup returned to the parish for the first and only time. His brother, Eamonn, was also a flying forward during  Syddan's golden era.

Three years earlier, as chairman of a committee in the parish, deceased made the presentation of the Keegan Cup to Fr Pat Tully, of the Meath Co Board, the trophy to be presented to the winners of the Meath Senior Football Championship each year.

The cup was a memorial to the late Tom Keegan who tragically lost his life playing for Syddan against Castletown in an IFC semi-final in Rathkenny in 1940.

Speed, accuracy, courage, combined with sublime skill were the hallmark of Paddy Meegan the footballer. In all he made 50 championship appearances with Meath and left an indelible mark as he won the admiration and respect of team mates and opponents alike. But he remained the same modest and unassuming person over the years, a gentleman, unaffected by success in any way.

Paddy Meegan is survived by his wife, Olive; son, Gerard; daughter-in-law, Angela; grandsons, Martin and Conor; sister, Kitty; nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

His funeral took place from the Church of the Holy Cross, Lobinstown, to the adjoining cemetery.

Gifts brought to the altar by his son Gerard, daughter-in-law Angela, and grandsons, Martin and Conor, included the football from the 1951 NFL final played in New York, a Meath jersey, a copy of Paddy's book, 'From The Life Around Me', and a medal from the 1932 Eucharistic Congress. The chief concelebrant was his long time friend, Fr Michael Sheerin, PP.


Sonny Kelly. Trim

There was widespread sadness and shock over a wide are following the sudden death of Mr Sonny (Patrick John) Kelly, St Brigids Villas, Trim, on 14th October last, at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan. Mr Kelly, who was 85, was a prominent sportsman with Trim and Meath GAA in his playing days.

A native of Trim, deceased was son of Jack and Mary (nee Colgan) Kelly. He worked in Smyths of Trim and Spicers Bakery in Navan and Trim until he retired in 1992.

He played hurling and football for the town club from an early age, winning his first medal while at school in 1938, and continued playing until 1961.

Mr Kelly was part of minor and senior football and hurling teams in Trim. He won seven senior hurling county medals, and O'Growney Cup medals, and was part of the 1948 Meath Junior Hurling team, winning league, Leinster, and All-Ireland medals. He also won intermediate and Feis Cup football medals and was captain of the Trim team that played in the first Keegan Cup senior county final in 1954, losing to Navan O'Mahonys.

On his retirement from football and hurling, he played pitch and putt for many years. He also loved DIY and gardening, spending many hours working and improving his garden.

Mr Kelly is survived by his wife, Rose; son, Martin, Trim; daughters, Bernadette, Trim, Margaret Gargan, Boston USA; son-in-law Mehaul Gargan, Boston; daughter-in-law, Rita, Trim; grandchildren, Stephen and Jennifer, Boston, and Ciaran and Daragh, Trim; sisters, Monty Purtill and Paul Lynam; brothers Frank and George, all Trim; sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, May Dunne, Bective, Navan.

The funeral took place from St Patrick's Church, Trim, to St Loman's Cemetery. Guards of honour of young and old members of Trim and Meath GAA members took place at both the removal and funeral. A month's memory Mass takes place on Saturday 24th November at 7pm in St Patrick's Church.


Angela McCann, Duleek and England

The regretted death occurred on 21st October last, in Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Luton, England, of Ms Angela McCann, late of Corballis, Duleek.

Deceased was a nursing sister in Harley Street, London, and The London Clinic.

Daughter of the late John and Margaret McCann, she is survived by Martin; her sisters, Carmel, Kathleen, Teresa and Eileen, and extended family members.

Deceased was a nursing sister in Harley Street, London, and the London Clinic. Her funeral took place from St Ciaran's Church, Duleek, to The Good Shepherd Cemetery.


Thomas Blake, Grange Bective

The regretted death took place of Mr Thomas (Tommy) Blake, aged 76, of Grange Bective, Navan on 1st October last at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan.

Mr Blake, a native of Butterstream, Academy Street, Navan is survived by his wife Christina; sons, John and Brendan; daughters, Maria and Jean; sisters, Marion, Kathleen, Josephine and Elizabeth; grandchildren, Sarah, Liam-Og, Sean and Amy; nieces and nephews; sons-in-law and relatives, friends and neighbours.

The funeral took place at St Mary's Church, Navan, followed by the burial at Castletown Cemetery.


Kevin Cottrell, Kentstown and Moynalty

The sudden death of Mr Kevin Cottrell, Cormeen, Kells, and late of Kentstown, caused considerable shock and sadness. He was aged 61 and died at his home at Cormeen.

Mr Cottrell was a native of Dunsany, and lived for 26 years at St Oliver Plunkett Park, Kentstown, with his wife of many years, Mary, and family of seven, and for the past nine years in Moynalty with his partner, Lorna.

Deceased was a hard working tradesman, who specialised in stone masonry but could turn his hand to any work. He loved his neighbours and was always there to lend a hand when needed, and always fond of a joke and a laugh. He loved meeting family and friends and having a few pints, loved horses and loved his dogs. He also loved going to see his children and grandchildren, and will be sadly missed by all.

Son of the late Kathleen and Harry Cottrell, he is survived by Mary; family, Kevin, England, Brian, Kentstown, Henry, England, Caroline Brennan, Navan, Jackie Murtagh, Navan, David, Kentstown, Lisa, Kentstown; 11 grandchildren; sisters, Anne Connor, Dunshaughlin, Mary, England; brothers, George, Dunshaughlin, Matt, Dunshaughlin, and Henry, England; partner, Lorna Fahy, Cormeen; uncle Matt Douglas, Killeen; nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.

He was predeceased by his sister, Josie King, Dunboyne, and brother, David, Drumree.

Removal took place from St Oliver's Park, Kentstown, to the Church of the Assumption, Dunsany, and deceased was laid to rest with his parents in Dunsany after Funeral Mass there.


Denis Gough, Beauparc

There was widespread sadness following the death of Mr Denis Gough, Rosnaree, Beauparc, Navan, on 7th November last, at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

Deceased, who was a native of Rosnaree, was steward and faithful friend of the Law Family at Rosnaree House for 60 years. He was an accomplished athlete in his youth and a renowned Boyne fisherman.

Predeceased by his son, Michael, he is survived by his wife of 67 years, Eileen; sons, Aidan, Brendan, Brian and Paul; daughter, Elizabeth; brother, Dermot; sister, Annie; daughters-in-law; son-in-law; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; relatives and friends.

The removal took place from his son Paul's residence to the Church of the Nativity, Rosnaree. Burial took place after a Funeral Mass there to St Erc's Cemetery, Slane.

Deceased's poet grandson, Ruairi, composed a poem in memory of his grandfather, 'The Prince', which was delivered at the Church.